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The Indolence of the Filipino

José Rizal

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Instead of patient, Philippines; instead of malady, indolence.

And, just as happens in similar cases then the patient gets worse, everybody loses his head, each one dodges the responsibility to place it upon somebody else, and instead of seeking the causes in order to combat the evil in them, devotes himself at best to attacking the symptoms: here a blood-letting, a tax; there a plaster, forced labor; further on a sedative, a trifling reform. Every new arrival proposes a new remedy: one, seasons of prayer, the relics of a saint, the viaticum, the friars; another, a shower-bath; still another, with pretensions to modern ideas, a transfusion of blood. "It's nothing, only the patient has eight million indolent red corpuscles: some few white corpuscles in the form of an agricultural colony will get us out of the trouble."

So, on all sides there are groans, gnawing of lips, clenching of fists, many hollow words, great ignorance, a deal of talk, a lo. . . Read More

Community Reviews

As a second generation, half-Filipino, only knowing life in the USA, I learned more about Filipino history here in these 50-ish pages than my entire childhood. Rizal is such a passionate writer. His method of deduction to try and persuade the reader that, yes, Filipinos have indolence, but who wo...more

I just wanted to keep putting up snaps every other paragraph. This piece is so poetic yet demanding; it outlines the history of colonization specifically in the Philippines, but these trends are visible in many other colony/colonizer relationships as well. Though written a hundred years ago, it's...more

i like it. that's all!

Rizal's arguments re the Filipino's indolence were on point and put the Spaniards (during their occupation for 333 years) to shame.

This is could be read as an epilogue to The Social Cancer. In his view the Spanish colonization of the Philippine Islands was a total disaster for the indigenous populace, and all its alleged benefits were either fake or meager. To my impression the bitter conclusions and resentment of Rizal towa...more

Jose Rizal was a philosopher hero of the Philippines who was executed by the Spanish army for his trouble.

I found his arguments that explain the perceived indolence of Filipino. He explained that any group learns to live. He explained that as it is very hot and very fertile. As a result, the Fil...more

This book was something we discussed in our Rizal class. Reading through it, I couldn't help but feel a kind of admiration for Rizal, who was able to lay bare the, simply put, indolence of the Filipino. The reasons for it may be looked at as mere excuses, but the train of thought is still somethi...more